I do not like to stand still.

I am a lifelong learner, I take guitar lessons during the week, and I am known for riding my Segway around SAS campus and at events.

SAS works the same way; we never stand still. We are continuously innovating and moving forward.

Last year, we launched SAS® Viya™, our cloud-ready, open, in-memory machine learning platform. Since then, we have launched seven products on SAS Viya and released new functionality for our existing solutions, enabling organizations to thrive in the analytics economy.

The commitment to innovation and the pace of innovation at SAS are impressive. Just as impressive is the commitment and passion that our people bring to their work. Our developers, testers, documentation writers and technical support specialists make connections with users and bring a personal dimension to the products they develop and support.

To give you a glimpse into that, here are four examples of new SAS technologies and the stories, people and passion behind them.

1. Squashing bugs

Casey Smith has been around SAS since he was a kid. His mom taught SAS at a local university, and he noticed what a lot of the students kept running into: bugs.

So when he joined SAS several years later, he found a way to squash them. Casey and his team incorporated a DATA step debugger in SAS® Enterprise Guide®, providing customers with the tool they need to step through a complicated data manipulation or extract, transform and load (ETL) job to figure out where things go wrong – and to see where things go right. It increases customer productivity in solving real-world problems, it lowers the barrier of entry to SAS programming, and it helps us write better code.

Do you want to see the software in action? Watch the full demo from the Technology Connection at SAS Global Forum.

2. The magic of factorization

When Jorge Silva was studying for his PhD, he took an interest in visualization and pattern recognition because it seemed almost magical to him.

And to some, the software that he developed seems almost magical, too. Jorge developed a factorization machine that uses advanced analytics and machine learning to identify trends, make predictions and develop recommendations.

In fact, at SAS® Global Forum, he used the program to predict the winner of the NCAA men’s basketball championship between UNC and Gonzaga. It segmented the players, teams and shot types – the same way a business could segment customers, branches and more. He also used a factorization machine to compare teams and to predict that UNC would win the final game that night. And in case you have forgotten, UNC did indeed win, by six points.

Watch the full demo for all of the details.

3. Helping the blind see data

Ed Summers is legally blind, but he is a true visionary. He is passionate about making a difference for people of all abilities – and he has.

He developed SAS® Graphics Accelerator, which uses sonography to translate SAS analytics graphics into speech or a piano note. This process of sonification allows users to hear data and trends so that they can comprehend the data and make decisions.

Abilities should not limit access to the possibilities provided by analytics. This software levels the playing field so that the more than 285 million people with visual impairments can interact with data and make business decisions. It also gives visually impaired students access to good careers. I think this technology has the potential to be as important to data as Braille is to text.

Hear for yourself. Watch the demo.

4. The father of event stream processing

Jerry Baulier is the father of event stream processing (ESP); he built the first commercial event stream processing technology. When he initially developed the technology, it was used primarily for complex event processing and in capital markets applications. But when he joined SAS, he began to build ESP with SAS Analytics, and he discovered it can do so much more.

SAS® Event Stream Processing helps companies analyze streaming data in the cloud, the data center and on the edge. Through partnerships with companies like Cisco, ESP brings enormous value to the Internet of Things. With the amount of data that IoT generates for companies, ESP can fundamentally shift how companies operate.

For example, truck companies gathering data on their parts can move from scheduled maintenance to predictive maintenance; they can predict and prevent breakdowns before they occur. It puts analytics on the edge so that we do not have to live on the edge.

Learn more about this technology by watching the demo.

Why it matters

SAS invests twice as much in research and development as our competitors, but what truly sets us apart is our people. People at SAS have purpose, feel valued and pour their hearts into everything they do. That shows in small ways – like their smiles in the hallways – and in larger ways, like the pace and passion they bring to work everyday.

Our developers have a personal connection with their work and make personal connections with users. That is what drives their unwavering commitment to innovate and help our customers explore the possibilities of the future of analytics.


About Author

Oliver Schabenberger

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer

Oliver Schabenberger executes the company’s strategic objectives and business priorities as well as sets the technology direction for SAS. Together with SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, he helps shape SAS’ vision and keep the company at the forefront of innovation so that customers have access to the technology and services they need to be successful.

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